A Year of Inspiration
Update: I did not win the prize but I win by having the support of great colleagues and students with whom I work everyday.
A note about this post
This is a slightly modified version of the letter I wrote to apply for an award for “Inspirational Professor”. I’ve done some reformatting for the blog format but the content is the same as what I sent to the awards committee.
How I created more impact on students by paying more attention to teachers.
I wish to leave the main petition for my application as an inspirational professor in the words (and hands) of my colleagues that I worked with over the past years and in particular for the purposes of this award in 2014. You will find letters of recommendation from my colleagues in the folder labeled professors. Some of these are professors from Campus Guadalajara, others are professors from other campuses or staff working in support of educational innovation at the Tecnológico de Monterrey. A colleague from outside of our system also sent a short note which I choose to include since it shows the impact my writing and sharing has on educators and students globally. I implore you to read those letters since there is no better way to show support for my inspiring of teachers than from the hand of those teachers themselves.
Note that these letters referenced above are not linked here since I didn’t request permission to publish those. If I do get permission, I will include those here too.
Nevertheless, I should leave a list here of my accomplishments during the calendar year 2014. Much of this can be gleaned from my curriculum vitae (long and short versions included in my submission) but those documents tend to be cold without leaving intent or a story with it. More of the story can be found in my twenty six blog posts in 2014. Much of my preparation of this letter was aided by a review of those posts. Most are academic in nature and related to my work in education but a few of those posts may be related to general life. Feel free to skip the ones that do not interest you.
A Decision to Focus on PD
This was a conscious decision on my part to change focus in 2014 to inspiring and helping teachers. During 2013 I had participated on campus in training teachers in technology (Android, WordPress) and pedagogy (Flipped Learning, Writing with Blogs, Summative Exams with my custom Linux USB system). It was at the end of 2013 when I met with Jon Bergmann (one of the pioneers of Flipped Learning) at our annual conference in Monterrey that he encouraged me to share more of what I know and become much more public about it. It was Jon that encouraged me to create a Facebook group about Flipped Learning for México. This led to the words on my first blog post of 2014:
“This led to my push to evangelize improving other teachers’ classrooms here as well as across our entire Tec system and farther through my Flipped Classroom Mexico Facebook page. This is my main professional focus this year.”
My main achievements in evangelizing Flipped Learning over the year are listed below. Please note that my definition of Flipped Learning is not just a technique but a philosophy and process towards good educational practices. So when I talk about Flipped Learning, I talk about my experiences in being a Tec21 teacher: inspirational, on the cutting edge of their discipline, innovative, highly connected to those in their profession, and comfortable with technology.
- Presented “Introduction to Flipped Learning.” at the Prepa Tec Conference in Guadalajara, May 2014
- The first version of my 6 week fully online course on Flipped Learning to 60 faculty across the RZO. I include videos of those professors feedback about the course at http://bit.ly/maestros2015 which links to a YouTube list. Those videos are mostly from 2014 teachers but some are from 2015. This is for a conference talk I will give at FlipCon15 in July.
- Presenting “Flipping Computer Science” at the 7th International Conference on Flipped Learning in July, 2014.
- Invited and I accepted to be on Flipped Learning Network Advisory Board, September 2014.
- Invited by the South Korean government (Gyeonggi Provincal Office of Education)to give three talks (in two days) in South Korea. See my Curriculum Vitae for details.
- My second version of the Flipped Learning fully online course for teachers was much smaller since it was only for our campus but there are very good reviews included in that link of videos, in particular those of Joel Huegel (see video below) and Hartwig Stein.
- Presented (arbitrated conference) at 1er. Congreso Internacional de Innovación Educativa on “Dos años de Experiencias con Aula Invertida” in December 2014.
An archive of videos from my students about my classes in 2014 in English ( http://bit.ly/studentsFall2014 ) and Spanish ( http://bit.ly/alumnosFall2014 ) are at these links. I also have many other projects direct with students including being the faculty sponsor for the student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery on campus.
In Summary, Listen to my Colleagues
Again, I ask the committee to review the letters of reference from professors and colleagues as well as the video evidence I leave linked in this blog post.